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    Dr Liria Masuda-Nakagawa

    University Position
    Senior Research Associate


    I am interested in the circuit mechanisms of odor discrimination learning in the higher brain. The mushroom bodies (MBs) of insect brains are centers for associative olfactory learning. Using Drosophila larva, I have characterized the input region of the MBs, the calyx, and found that it has about 34 glomeruli, 23 of which receive olfactory input. Individual MB neurons receive input from multiple glomeruli, suggesting a combinatorial coding mechanism for odor representation. My goal is to understand the circuit mechanisms that determine and modulate odor representations in the calyx. I am analyzing the circuit at single-cell resolution, using genetically targeted expression, calcium imaging, and behavioral assays. Students have been actively working in this project with successful results. Students are welcome to participate in this project.

    Key Publications


    Octopaminergic neurons have multiple targets in Drosophila larval mushroom body calyx and can modulate behavioral odor discrimination.

    Journal: Learn Mem
    E-pub date: 1 Feb 2021
    Authors: JYH Wong, BA Wan, T Bland, M Montagnese, AD McLachlan, CJ O'Kane, SW Zhang, LM Masuda-Nakagawa